As a five-year-old, Jake Lapham featured in a home movie with a toy microphone in hand, parroting select words he had heard on the nightly news about a nearby bushfire.

“The fire was at Mount Kembla (near Wollongong) where I grew up and I must have been fascinated by the television reporters talking about things like the falling ash,” Lapham explains with a laugh.

The video proved uncannily accurate in portraying the future of the now 24-year-old video journalist and UOW alumnus.

So far, in his short career working for the ABC, Lapham has covered the recent South Coast bushfires in an area close to Lake Conjola where two people died, protests in Hong Kong and the COVID-19 pandemic.

He is one of an army of journalists worldwide who are willing to report from the front-line on chaos arising from crises and disasters, sometimes at high personal risk.

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